Natural Sustainable Acoustics

We are proud to be the first ever recipients of the Institute of Acoustics Sustainable Design Award

As a small independent company we are absolutely delighted and honoured to have our work formally recognised by the Institute of Acoustics, winning their first ever Sustainable Design Award.

For details on the award please visit Sustainable Acoustics

The IOA introduced the Sustainable Design Award as they felt there was a need to recognise and celebrate contributions towards building a sustainable future. Barry Gibbs, IOA President, said: “We are proud to announce Woolly Shepherd as the first ever winner of our Sustainable Design Award. The Woolly Shepherd demonstrated exceptional work within this area while also demonstrating a continued focus on improvement in the form of external sustainability audits. Their company ethos makes them a deserving winner and a valuable contributor to sustainability in the field of acoustics.” 

Our approach to sustainability is deeply embedded and personal. It underpins our business practices, is fundamental to the design of all our products and motivates our service. Sustainability is not a recent addition or bolt on component. Everything we do starts from the premise of responsible business practice, respect for the natural world and a desire to promote social inclusivity and well being in our built environment.
In a world filled with single use products derived from rapidly depleting natural resources and high energy manufacturing processes, the Woolly Shepherd is an industry leader manufacturing lean, high performance acoustic treatment from wool and timber, renewable and recyclable resources requiring minimal energy imputs.
Sustainability need not be a compromise: all of our absorbers are tested in accordance with BS EN ISO 354:2003 and we take great pride in quoting performance data that is at least equal to the best of our competitors products made from mineral wool and foam. All of our standard limpet products are Class A absorbers.

The idea of using wool was informed by the desire to find a sustainable use for an otherwise unwanted, low value, product. Farmers were burning fleeces as they were unable to cover the cost of shearing. The remarkable acoustic absorptive properties of wool came to the rescue, offering an economically viable use for local raw materials.
Although wool prices have risen steadily since then, we continue to use wool and fleeces from small batches that would not otherwise be viable for farmers and smallholders. As the business has grown, we also source nationally, but we only use 100% UK grown wool and remain the only acoustic product designers to do so.

We believe it is vitally important to contribute to the rural economy and most of our wool is collected and paid for in Somerset and Devon. The wool is cleaned in Bradford and felted in Yorkshire and Somerset. This feeds back into our rural economy, providing fair trade for farmers and fair pay for local people at a time when the future of UK farming is uncertain and support for local producers is vital.

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Below is a short video showing our workspace and some of the stages of acoustic cloud making using natural wool and fibres.